Orange Park, FL

Gator offensive lineman to host Orange Park Big Man youth sports camp

Tony Salazar
Photo byRoderick Kearney's Instagram

Former Orange Park and current Gator offensive lineman Roderick Kearney will host the Orange Park Big Man Camp for 6th-12th grade offensive and defensive linemen on July 28.

The camp is $35 to register and will be held at Orange Park High School from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Participates will also receive a camp shirt, according to the camp organizers.

At Orange Park, Kearney played primarily at right tackle prior to his senior season. Kearney made the switch to the interior as Orange Park’s right guard for his senior season because the programs that were recruiting him viewed Kearney as an interior offensive lineman at the next level.

The 6-foot-4, 300-pound offensive lineman was ranked as the 147th-best player in the class of 2023, the sixth-best interior offensive lineman and the 34th-best player in the state of Florida, according to the 247Sports Composite Ranking. Kearney originally committed to FSU in June of 2022 but flipped his commitment to the Gators in October of the same year.

Following the 2022 season at Orange Park, Kearney was an early enrollee at Florida in January and got to go through the teams' spring camp and saw significant playing time in the Gators’ Spring Game. Kearney will be the future center for the Gators and is currently being mentored by two other Jacksonville natives at center. Kingsley Eguakan graduated from Sandalwood in 2019 and Jake Slaughter graduated from Trinity Christian in 2021. Kearney is currently the only scholarship player from Clay County and one of seven Gators from the Jacksonville area on the 2023 Gators’ roster.

For those who aren’t linemen, here are some other camps for kids around Clay County.

Cliff Avril 11th Annual Youth Football Camp

Through the Cliff Avril Family Foundation, Avril will return to his former high school along with other NFL players to provide one-on-one instruction for the campers, according to Eventbrite. The July 15 event has a limit of 250 campers and is free to youth from ages 12 to 18. The camp is held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The campers must be pre-registered on the Eventbrite website. The campers will receive a T-shirt, a photo with Avril, a goody bag, and lunch. The campers are encouraged to wear athletic clothing and will wear shirts provided by Avril.

Avril graduated from Clay High in 2004 and played football in college for the Purdue Boilermakers. According to Sports Reference, Avril recorded 157 total tackles, 12.5 sacks, and two interceptions during his three seasons at Purdue. Avril is one of 13 members of Purdue’s honorary group, The Den of Defensive Ends. The group was established in 2004 and consists of other famous Purdue defensive ends such as George Karlaftis, Ryan Kerrigan, Lamar Lundy, and Shaun Philips.

Avril was drafted in the third round by the Detroit Lions in the 2008 NFL Draft as a defensive end. He spent five seasons in Detroit. Avril had 168 combined tackles, 39.5 sacks, 16 forced fumbles, and one interception for Detroit.

He then signed with the Seattle Seahawks in 2013. He won a Super Bowl with Seattle in 2014 and was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2016. After five seasons with Seattle, Avril decided to retire when the 2017 season ended. According to Pro-Football-Reference, he logged 298 total tackles, 74 sacks, and 30 forced fumbles during his 10-year career in the NFL.

Avril created the Cliff Avril Family Foundation in 2014. He was inspired to create the foundation after the loss of his grandmother and his mother's diagnosis of diabetes, according to the Cliff Avril Family Foundation website. Avril’s mission is to educate children about the importance of healthy living and to spread awareness of type 2 diabetes. Avril also uses his foundation to give educational support to the children of Haiti, where his family is from.

Clay Cobras Kids Camp

The ninth annual Clay Cobras Kids Camp will be held at Clay High School on July 18-19 from 9 a.m. to noon for $80. The Clay Cobras are a high school age travel baseball team that has numerous players on the roster who are good enough to play at the next level. The Cobra players serve as the coaches for the camp as a way to give back to the community and inspire the next generation of baseball players in Clay County. The camp is for kids from ages K-6th grade who want to learn the fundamentals of baseball. Kids participating in the summer camp will need to bring cleats, a bat, a glove and water.

To register, send an email to with the subject line “Cobras Camp” with the player’s name, age, parent contact and shirt size. For more information, click here.

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I am a graduate of the University of North Florida with a major in communication with a focus in journalism and a minor in sports management.

Green Cove Springs, FL

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